Africa is the second largest mobile phone market in the world. Does this fact surprise you? Probably, but Africa is expected to reach over 700 million mobile subscribers in the next year. Not only is the African mobile market large in size, it is also the fastest-growing on the planet as well. This provides an abundance of opportunity for investors, technology and mobile companies, and service providers.
Nigeria leads the pack with 93 million mobile phones. However, South Africa has the highest level of penetration. Like the rest of the world, Africa has begun to accept all of the changes that come with a mobile driven society. Business speeds are increasing, making African companies more competitive. The increase in mobile prevalence has also had a large social impact in Africa by changing the way people communicate.
One major way that Africans are using mobile devices is for banking. Many people who live in rural areas have trouble because they do not have a bank location nearby, so having everything they need right on their phone has created a huge convenience. This secure method is great for customers and for businesses. Kenya has taken advantage of mobile banking and currently has the most mobile money transfers of any African country.
Despite the massive growth in the market, there is still a large accessibility problem in Africa that has kept it from expanding even faster. About one third of people on the continent are unable to get a mobile device and offer huge untouched potential. There is also a lack of infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, that poses potential road blocks for mobile companies looking to expand to Africa. It will take cooperation from the governments, and large investments from mobile service providers, but Africa certainly has the demand to make it one of the most successful mobile markets worldwide.